LEAD Your Team
As any experienced teacher knows, you always need something in your bag of tricks
for those moments when students finish
the lesson early or some unexpected disruption
derails your best laid plans. One quick but effective instructional strategy is the use of acrostics.
They are an easy way to engage students in creative, critical thinking and keep them occupied
so you can focus on something that may be a
higher priority. When students are finished with
the acrostic, you can use it to facilitate instructional dialogue, or serve as a prewriting tool
or thinking map. In that vein, we are going to
explore an acrostic for tech coordinators: LEAD.
L is for Love. As a leader you must love what
you do. What I am talking about is having a passion for your job. This is the reason you chose
to assume a leadership role—to make a positive
difference. The other part of this characteristic
is that you must love your employees. They want
to know that you care about them as people and
what happens to them. As the old adage goes,
“They will not care how much you know until
they know how much you care.” This idea holds
great wisdom for an effective leader.
E is for Excellence. The leader must set the
expectation that excellence is the standard. This
standard relates to the results, behaviors, and
attitudes your team exhibits daily. Mediocrity is
the millstone that weighs an organization down
as it works to achieve its vision. As the leader,
you must begin by modeling what excellence
looks like. The team cannot begin to understand
the importance of excellence and its appearance
until they see it demonstrated in everything you
say and do.
A is for Accountability. To create high-performing teams that demonstrate excellence,
we must work within a culture that understands
and embraces personal accountability. As the
leader, you must ensure there are processes that
hold your teammates accountable to each other
and you. It is also important to remember that
you owe some accountability to them. You must
keep your promises and ensure the team has
what is needed to succeed in terms of resources,
information, encouragement, and expectations.
The question you want to always consider is,
“What can I do as the leader to make it better
D is for Direction. Leaders set the strategic
direction—the vision. That premise is a foundational tenet of leadership, and without it, a team,
department, or organization will ultimately
wander around lost in a sea of aimless activity.
We must provide direction on a daily basis for
how the team or department is to operate. It is
a delicate balance between autonomy, empowerment, and direct supervision. Additionally,
there is the constant swing between focusing on
tactical and strategic issues. As the leader, you
are the skilled conductor, ensuring the talented
orchestra stays in tune and together as you perform the complex symphony that is educational
We’ve come to the end of our acrostic, but
the learning is just beginning. Now it is up to
you to determine if lead will be the verb that
changes people and organizations, or if it will
be the noun lead, as in a heavy object that
weighs things down. The choice is yours.
AS I SEE “IT”
By Don Hall
Don Hall is the CIO
for the Muscogee
County School District
in Columbus, Georgia.
He has experience in
teaching and administration and is a veteran presenter, author,
and consultant. He
serves as a volunteer
columnist for L&L.